Geoff Gardner, Muse:
“The idea is terrific. Finding Joy is the story of the new rural underclass, the escapees from the city who bring with them the baggage of sixties counter-culture values, embracing tarot cards, vegetarianism, funny haircuts, modern music and a desire to find a good relationship. Billie Dean, who wrote and directed this movie, twigs onto this instinctively…
“Finding Joy had its world premiere at the Center Cinema. It was wonderfully received by crowds who responded to its scenes of escapist rural bliss, presented entirely without irony, aided by a sentimental narrative about a lost dog. At its heart is a good idea – a film about a tiny segment of society that has not previously had a moment of light shed on it…”
(Excepted from Muse #229, June 2003)
“I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at some of the films you can enjoy at Ausfest.
“The highlight for me was ‘Finding Joy’, a bittersweet tale of love, music and hope. ‘Finding Joy’ is a love story with a difference, with a
mesmerising performance by Billie Dean, who also directs it. Its story is a simple yet involving one: Joy (Billie Dean) is a woman who is having a bit of a mid-life crisis. She decides to reinvent her life and meets a charismatic musician and it looks like true love is blossoming. But even the path to bliss can be rocky. ‘Finding Joy’ was an absolute joy to watch. It’s a film with its heart in the right place.”
I’m sure many readers will recognise themselves in this film. Joy, a creative, intelligent woman can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to the good things in her life, including her burgeoning talent for singing. Full of self-doubt about her voice, her worth, her life and whether she is actually lovable, despite the frequent declarations of love from her sensitive new age guy partner, Joy feels more trust in the company of her Blue Heeler animal friend. Eventually, through the unconditional love of Raffi the dog, Joy allows her inner light to shine, and feels brave enough to commit to her man.
This is the first offering from this pagan film production house, and is bound to uplift the spirit and open the heart.
Review published in WITCHCRAFT Magazine, June/July 2003, issue #33. © Federal Publishing Company, 2003. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.